It took over one year to set up self-service tooling, but my employees are still doing all their analytics in their own spreadsheets… We spent €500.000 on a Data Catalog, but nobody is using it… Our Data Quality is low, people do not care about what they put in our operational systems…
Does this sound familiar? According to Gartner, 82% of the employees do not know where to start with Data.
However, data has become a very valuable company asset. All successful data projects come along with a necessary level-up in the Data Culture. On the contrary, a Data Culture cannot be established without a basic understanding of what datais and what value it can bring to a company. This is where Data Literacy comes into play.
So, are your employees Data Literate (Or Data Savvy, Data Educated, Data Skilled)? Do you yourself already talk the data language? Having a Data Literate workforce is needed more than ever to drive growth, but how do you achieve it? Let’s take you on a Data Literacy Journey.
Read and Write data
What exactly does it mean to be Data Literate? Cambridge Dictionary describes literacy as ‘being able to read and write’. Of course, this is not a blog post about linguistics, but about data. If we make the translation to the data world, you can read data by being able to interpret, question and understand data, while writing data lets you work with the data by analysing and visualising. Writing data involves two types of skills, both general and technical. General skills include the ability to interpret data, its meaning and implication. The general skills will need to be supported by technical skills, such as being able to work with data visualization tools and perform (basic) statistical analysis. Gartner adds a 3rd dimension to Data Literacy, communicate with data. Communicating with data enables you to inform others and tell stories with your data. All of this is done the right way to the right stakeholders.
Your Data Literacy Journey in 3 steps
STEP 1: Initial Assessment
Generally, a Data Literacy Journey is started by performing an initial assessment of all layers of the workforce. The assessment is necessary to quantify how Data Literate your organization currently is. Can everyone in your organization interpret a bar chart? Do you know what an outlier is and what you should do with it? The assessment classifies employees into different persona, being a fictional character representing how you use Data on a day-to-day basis. These personas can then help to further train your employees according to their specific needs. Your organization does not need everyone to be a full stack data expert, but the goal is to achieve the right amount of knowledge for each person’s roles and responsibilities.
STEP 2: Fill the gaps
After performing the initial assessment, it is time for the second step. We need to fill the gaps. Training tracks must be developed for each persona to go to the desired Literacy level. What exactly must be part of your different data trainings? First, it is not all about tooling. Tooling can be part of your data literacy training pack, but this is not necessary. Certainly not for all levels of desired expertise. There are 100s of possible training tracks to develop according to your specific business and scope. Generally, trainings consist out of ‘what is data?’, ‘seeing the merits of data’, ‘how to visualize data?’, ‘how to tell a story with data?’… Do not let these trainings be boring. Tracks should be made interactive using gamification and quizzes, for example, in order to keep your workforce engaged. To accelerate growth even further a use-case driven approach can be used to enable stakeholders to see the value of Data (Literacy) even quicker.
STEP 3: Give the workforce what they need
To facilitate data usage in your workforce even further, the correct visualization and analysis tooling should be easily accessible to reach your workforce’s full potential. It’s not only tooling needs that need to be accessible, but also the data. Clear processes should exist to make sure this data is handled correctly, and a high level of data quality is kept persistent throughout the organization.
KEY TO SUCCES: Change the Data Culture
All of this should happen while encouraging a real data culture. The support should be present throughout the full Data Literacy Journey. An environment should be fostered where data is highly valued and used to enable informed decision making within all layers of the business. Setting up communities for different roles and personas could further promote this journey of change by enabling knowledge sharing in collaborative conditions.
Do these three phases bring your Data Literacy track to a successful conclusion? No! Creating a workforce that is data literate is a never-ending journey.
What’s in it for your organization?
Data literacy is essential for businesses of all sizes and industries. Being a Data Literate organization is the first step to becoming a data driven organization. Enabling stakeholders to take better informed and accurate decisions, driving opportunities and growth. Further, it can help businesses to stay competitive and adapt quicker to changing market conditions. Lastly, it will help to make your other Data Projects (Data Quality, Data Governance, Data Management) a full-blown success.
Is Data Literacy a new 2023 buzzword? No! Getting a Data Literate workforce will evolve your company towards being Data Driven. Don’t get me wrong: it is not an easy task, it is an ever-continuing journey and just following the steps once will not suffice. However, it will bring a lot of value in the mid to long term that is certainly worth the effort. To help you moving along this road faster and easily, Keyrus collaborates with the Data Literacy Academy (https://dl-academy.com).
So, are you ready to get your company Data Literate?
Any questions? Contact email@example.com